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My New DAC


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#1 crazikid

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

time for a new change - computer audio.

my requisites for my digital front end was a computer. I always found cd technology cumbersome. i loved the idea of controlling my music from a armchair via a iphone or iPad rather than the silver disc dictating what 10 tracks i could listen to at one time. then i had to get up and wade through the jewel cases for the next CD. only to find the Cd was not in its case. very frustrating :mad:

I had recently sold my wadia cd player- killerdac combo. Was very nice - but life is about experiencing new things.

all this talk of jitter and synchronous and asynchronous audio confused the hell out of me and it was through statemans experience with the ACKODAC - i decided to enquire. I am really glad i did. i order the AKD12 integrated combo with exau21 which arrived today.


its not hard DIY - actually one of the easiest builds i have done as most of the hard work has been done - connect 3 transformers put into a case and enjoy.

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Edited by crazikid, 30 November 2012 - 01:54 PM.


#2 tuyen

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

nice stuff mate.

any initial impressions?

the ackodac is by an australian mob too hey?


#3 hochopeper

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

Acko is based in Sydney I believe :)


It looks beautiful! Got the turboclock too, very nice!!

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#4 crazikid

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

nice stuff mate.

any initial impressions?

the ackodac is by an australian mob too hey?


Its very good. Only a couple hours of listening so far

#5 hochopeper

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

Its very good. Only a couple hours of listening so far


I need a flameproof suit, IMHO, you have one of the best DACs in Brisbane in the photo above!

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#6 Ozcall

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

Very nice bit of kit Crazi , congrats.

An open mind is a good starting point.

Except speakers where Gale 401A's beat all :)


#7 fetischizm

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

I need a flameproof suit, IMHO, you have one of the best DACs in Brisbane in the photo above!


one of =)

very nice crazykid! i've caved on the turboclock too, havent recieved it yet though. in fact I only just now decided 100% =)

i'm qusp btw =)

Edited by fetischizm, 30 November 2012 - 03:53 PM.


#8 hochopeper

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

one of =)

If I hadn't heard your DAC I'd be only making baseless claims!

i'm qusp btw =)

For those playing along at home, I am hochopeper on diyA. I really need to talk to someone about changing my username on here.

Edited by zman, 30 November 2012 - 04:05 PM.

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#9 crazikid

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

Everyone is incognito 😛

#10 tuyen

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

Off-topic, but you can actually change your display name yourself under My Settings -> Display Name.

Pics of DAC in situ if possible please!


#11 fetischizm

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

no, I like being semi incognito :ph34r:

I have pics of my ackodac, but i'd raher let James post his first

Edited by fetischizm, 01 December 2012 - 08:40 PM.


#12 statman

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Been using this combo for over 9 months now, with a good tube output stage (low output z , lots of drive, dynamics) it's still my reference although I've found something that beats it in DSD mode.

Listening room: (1) Dual PC running Windows Server2012/JRiver/JPlay/AudiophileOptimiser. Sabre 9018  dac with Amanero/FIFO/isolater/Si570 clock. OPA861 Transconductance outputs. 71A , 4P1L or 801A/10Y DHT preamp. DEQX digital active crossover with speaker/room correction.

Red Spade Audio PSE-144 2 way point source horns , with AE 18" bass drivers in sealed boxes.  Horns driven by 4 monobloc low gain , zero feedback push pull triode amps.  Bass driven by high power SS amps.

Luxman PD444 turntable with Dynavector 505 arm, Ortofon SPU cartridge, tube moving coil phono stage.

 

(2) Laptop running Windows Server 2012/JRiver/AO. TDA1541 dac with Amanero/FIFO/isolater/clock/I2S-PCM boards. Stacked AD844 Transconductance outputs. 71A DHT/6H30  preamp with inbuilt tube crossover 71A >220Hz, 6H30<220Hz 

Hybrid Active MartinLogan stats with12" bass drivers, passive crossovers removed, direct connection to step up transformers. High power SS amps(1000 watts into 1 ohm), active subs for bass room mode correction with DSPeaker bass equaliser.

MIcro-Seiki RX-5000 turntable. LCR tube phono MC capable built into preamp/crossover.

 

Workshop: Windows7/JRiver, various dacs and tube preamps, Acoustat 2+2 electrostatics bi-amped with high power 1000 watt SS amplifiers. 

 

Manufacturer of Supratek preamplifiers.


#13 fetischizm

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

better try a better native DSD input then =) EXA seems to have a ways to go in this regard. theres a few interesting DSD direct technologies getting around the japanese DIY scene that are of interest too. as in no dac needed, since DSD is effectively an analogue signal already. not that this is a huge deal the tiny proportion of material that is actually recorded in DSD is miniscule, so many are just PCM converted

Edited by fetischizm, 01 December 2012 - 09:30 PM.


#14 tuyen

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

how do you guys find the difference between listening to native dsd capable dac vs dsd that is real-time converted to pcm (via playback software) or maybe just hi res 384 pcm?

is it 'night and day' ?


#15 statman

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

how do you guys find the difference between listening to native dsd capable dac vs dsd that is real-time converted to pcm (via playback software) or maybe just hi res 384 pcm?

is it 'night and day' ?


Yes its a big difference, listening to DSD converted to PCM sounds like PCM, even 384 is still just pcm. DSD is in a league of its own, very audible, unlike many snake oil claims, of course theres lot of other issues too, DSD recordings are usually very well done, you obviously want a high resolution system to hear how good it is. Native 325/384 recorded wav pcm comes close but still second. Shame theres not that much music, but it makes a great standard to aspire to. And you get to hear how good your system can be with such a high quality source.
An Amanero/Buff3SE will cost you about $600 and possibly best way to hear native DSD without hyper price, although the Mytec dac is good value at around $1500, haven't heard one.

Listening room: (1) Dual PC running Windows Server2012/JRiver/JPlay/AudiophileOptimiser. Sabre 9018  dac with Amanero/FIFO/isolater/Si570 clock. OPA861 Transconductance outputs. 71A , 4P1L or 801A/10Y DHT preamp. DEQX digital active crossover with speaker/room correction.

Red Spade Audio PSE-144 2 way point source horns , with AE 18" bass drivers in sealed boxes.  Horns driven by 4 monobloc low gain , zero feedback push pull triode amps.  Bass driven by high power SS amps.

Luxman PD444 turntable with Dynavector 505 arm, Ortofon SPU cartridge, tube moving coil phono stage.

 

(2) Laptop running Windows Server 2012/JRiver/AO. TDA1541 dac with Amanero/FIFO/isolater/clock/I2S-PCM boards. Stacked AD844 Transconductance outputs. 71A DHT/6H30  preamp with inbuilt tube crossover 71A >220Hz, 6H30<220Hz 

Hybrid Active MartinLogan stats with12" bass drivers, passive crossovers removed, direct connection to step up transformers. High power SS amps(1000 watts into 1 ohm), active subs for bass room mode correction with DSPeaker bass equaliser.

MIcro-Seiki RX-5000 turntable. LCR tube phono MC capable built into preamp/crossover.

 

Workshop: Windows7/JRiver, various dacs and tube preamps, Acoustat 2+2 electrostatics bi-amped with high power 1000 watt SS amplifiers. 

 

Manufacturer of Supratek preamplifiers.


#16 davewantsmoore

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:00 PM

I am hochopeper on diyA

i'm qusp btw =)


Ah! :-D

#17 crazikid

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

really enjoying this dac!

installed into an amp case i had laying around.

There are grand plans for this DAC.

Attached Files

  • Attached File  acko.jpg   68.38KB   110 downloads


#18 tuyen

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

Nice to hear it's delivering the goods mate. Looks like a very refined design and implementation of the chip. I want to hear it!!

Any news on the pre?


#19 crazikid

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

no, I like being semi incognito :ph34r:

I have pics of my ackodac, but i'd raher let James post his first


please feel free to show us your acko, Jeremy.. i think this dac deserves alot of praise being aussie made and all!

#20 hochopeper

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

There are grand plans for this DAC.



Well, that's just teasing us now isn't it!?! :cool:

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#21 crazikid

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

All will be revealed in time ;)

#22 fetischizm

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

as for pics, OK i'll dig around. nothing is in its final shape I only have pics of various different 2 channel arrangements. once I get the second NTD1 up and running and the turboclock i'll be attemting to draw a line under it for a while.

contrary to popular belief, ESS does not play native DSD, its still converted to its internal 6bit DS format for the modulator, rather than what is essentially a 1bit FIR filter which is all thats required for playing DSD.

DSD is actually noisier/lower performance than PCM, yet some still prefer it. Accuphase have developed a custom digital filter in an FPGA to play native 1bit with ESS, but with the buffallo or ackodac its not.

if you want to play native DSD in 1bit, you need DSD1794, which is an advanced segment dac, but has the ability to simply act as a 1bit FIR filter for DSD, or you can use this schematic is here which as you can see has no DAC, its simply a high performance analogue filter. as well as some high end discrete solutions such as the Grimm SD1

that doesnt mean it doesnt sound great playing DSD, but putting it forward as a way to play DSD natively is incorrect. the format is due for a few shake-ups in the next year or 2, with things like Multibit DSD. I think custom FPGA builds are the way of the future, but it'll be a while before it matures and of course even longer before we start to be able to buy music in those new formats.

so for now our ESS are perfectly serviceable haha

Edited by fetischizm, 03 December 2012 - 04:52 PM.


#23 crazikid

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

Very interesting info. Thanks!

#24 fetischizm

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

no problem, yeah i'm going to sit back and watch for a while re DSD, as DoP (DSD over PCM) is changing/evolving too fast to invest much in it and multichannel is not available as yet AFAIK. for now i'm happy to have the option to play around with it as a novelty while already having state of the art multichannel PCM decoding. DSD128 and higher does not present the same noise issues of DSD64, or rather the noise is pushed further up in frequency so its not an audible issue. but the problem is processing it, none of the standard programs are able to process native DSD audio data, so it makes a DSD digital crossover pretty much impossible for now.

#25 fetischizm

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

heres a few dodgy pics of various stuff i'm playing around with. I also have 2 other IV stages for ESS including SEN/CEN and one i'm starting to play around with based on Scott Wurcers SW-OPA jfet (BF862) based discrete opamp. NTD1 is where its at for me at the moment. inn the photos I have Amanero, Titan and fifo for different sources/transports. but Titan plus the turbo clock will be where I rest for multichannel for the crossover, at least until Ian designs a multichannel fifo.

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Edited by fetischizm, 03 December 2012 - 07:44 PM.


#26 crazikid

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

wow. theres alot happening in there. :thumb:

i like that case...

#27 fetischizm

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:53 PM

yeah, nice case, not big enough though :unsure: thats only 2 channels in any one pic... of course it isnt double that for the 4 channel dac, but not too far off. all the control systems/wifi stuff will be relocated to a second case and only wifi recievers in there for volume control and power cycling, maybe overtemp.

#28 crazikid

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:14 PM

just an update to say i'm really enjoying this DAC.
lots of detail which i feel was missing with my last DAC.
very dynamic.. good recordings sound good. bad recording sound bad.

#29 shaky

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:35 PM

Fetischizm, can you please tell me where you got the curved corner silver case from?! It looks like it would match my raysonic Cdp. Thanks

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#30 hochopeper

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

Fetischizm, can you please tell me where you got the curved corner silver case from?! It looks like it would match my raysonic Cdp. Thanks


If I remember the conversation I had with him about that case from earlier this year, the mob that he got that from don't sell those enclosures anymore. He'll correct me there if I've got that wrong.

But this might be another option for you that is similar - http://www.siliconra...-enclosure.html

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